Big thank you from

Festival goes from strength to strength 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE William Kennedy Piping Festival, organised by the Armagh Pipers Club, will celebrate their twelfth anniversary this year when the Festival take place from the 14th to the 20th November in Armagh City.

This event has gone from strength to strength each year and has become one of the most prestigious events in the Arts Calendar, attracting a wide range of participants and spectators.

The Festival, which celebrates the life and work of the blind 18th century pipe maker William Kennedy, is a showcase for the wide variety of talent that exists in piping circles and it an important event which contributes greatly to the quality of artistic life in Armagh.

The Scottish Power Pipe Band and Ballinderry Bridge will appear in the Highland Pipe Band Concert, which will take place on Wednesday 16th November in the Market Place Theatre. This concert has become a highlight of the Festival in recent years, and with two top Grade 1 bands this year's concert is sure to be a big hit.

Another concert will include a solo highland pipes concert on the 19th November and will feature Pipe Major Roddy MacLeod and Ross Ainslie from Scotland along with local pipers Andrew Carlisle and Brendan Murphy.

Up to 6,000 children will benefit from the many workshops that are being run as part of the Festival in conjunction with the schools in the city and district. This year the Festival will welcome guests from Algeria, Bulgaria, Italy and Sardinia, Asturias, Sweden, Ireland, England Scotland and Cape Breton in Canada.

The 2005 world solo drumming championships will be held on Saturday 29th October with an entry of over 150 drummers.
It will take place at Bathgate Academy with an array of top class adjudicators taking part.

Last year Jim Kilpatrick broke his own record and retained the world title for the 15th time. About 30 drummers from Northern Ireland will travel over to compete at this event, which is sponsored by Sam Hodgen of Andante Percussion from Rathfriland.

Killeen Pipe Band under the leadership of Pipe Major Philip Boyce and Leading Tip Trevor McGavigan put on an excellent concert last Friday at the Market Place Theatre.

The band gave a terrific performance, playing a selection of tunes including the MSR, which won them the title of Grade 2 All Ireland champions this year.

The drum corps of the band also entertained the audience with an exciting rendering of the Lord of the Dance

There was an outstanding display from two of the band's youngest players. Drum Major Linzi Hamilton, who is a world, All Ireland and Ulster champion and Stephen Paynter, who is the 2005 All Ireland Juvenile Solo Drumming Champion.

Also appearing at the concert were the Roughan Silver Band, the 2004 Band of the Year, and the Bawn Folk Group who finished with a lovely duet from Lesley Greenlee and her singing companion Clive McBride.

Lisburn City Council are preparing to host a 2008 major Pipe Band Championships in the town. Just last week the Council ratified the decision made by the Economic Development Committee to make a bid to host the event.

The Council said that following on from the successful hosting of the European Championships last year at the Lisburn Leisure Centre grounds and the City of Lisburn Championships held at Moira in August this year, they have the necessary expertise, along with the help of the Northern Ireland branch, to organise a major event for the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association

A meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA will be held on Saturday 29th October in the Bridge Community Centre, Lisburn.

All recommendations for the Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 12th November need to be in with Secretary Mrs Margaret Montgomery on or before the 29th October.

Seven Towers Pipe Band will be holding an Auction on Saturday 5th November in Broughshane Community Centre. Viewing will commence at 9.00am with the Auction at 10.30am.

Proceeds will be in aid of pipe band funds. There will also be catering available on site.

Ulster Star